Written by Coach’s Climb

For many coaches, careers can start out of convenience. Almost in a very (George) Costanzian type of approach towards job employment – we like basketball, therefore we should coach basketball.

What you come to find out the longer you stick around; it is less about how to simply stay involved, rather, how can we make an impact.

#52WeekCoaching was inspired by this very topic. Leaving a Legacy is the aspiration for any coach. And sure, from a competitiveness standpoint we all chase the top rung of the ladder to cut down nets. But I’m not talking strictly a legacy lead from the record books. It is the impact we can have on the trajectory of others’ lives that enrich our experience. So taking from the adage of never take a job that the boss wouldn’t do themselves; I am here to kick off #52WeekCoaching with my own thoughts to play catalyst for other coaches to hopefully share.

Leaving a Legacy infers a few talking points to reflect upon:

  • What footprint do you want to leave this game and to the players that you have had the opportunity to coach?
  • How would you hope to be remembered?
  • What would you leave for the next generation of players or coaches?

Footprint to the Game

At each program where I have had the opportunity to coach, my number one priority is to leave it better than I had found it. My coaching experience is an attempt to make for a better experience of what exists today. By the final buzzer of the last game I intend to ever coach I hope to make a mark on this game in a few different ways:

1. Develop a Coaching Tree – Preparing and putting others in a position to teach the game.   

2. Start a Non-Profit – Establish an organization that utilizes the Player Development Curriculum through USA Basketball giving all-access to anyone willing to participate in community service projects. An effort to create a symbiotic relationship between the next generation of student-athletes and their community leaders.

3. Write A BookIf you haven’t had the chance, take a look at Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris; it is a collection of interviews of some of the most successful entrepreneurs, athletes, and experts of their field. How cool would it be if Leave a Legacy could accumulate enough responses from coaches all over the country to leave for the next generation of coaches to absorb.

How Will You Be Remembered

I wish I could remember where I had heard the line. At some point in my career, I remember words of wisdom that I have always carried with me as a coach (player to a degree).

If you are invited to more weddings than the number of banners raised, you are doing something right.

Now, let’s get one thing straight. I am not in the business of prioritizing your friendship over our program success. So, as I simultaneously put thoughts-to-keyboard I admittedly don’t know if that mantra is reasonable. The point being is that coaching is about relationships.

I would like to be remembered for these 3 things that I stand for the most:

  1. Accessible – “Open door policy” at all times to my players and staff.
  2. Loyalty – I want my guys to always know that I have their back, and best interests at heart. As a Cincinnati guy (even though this was with WVU), the Bob Huggins Final Four embrace with Da’Sean Butler has always resonated with me as a coach.
  3. Compete (On and off the court) – If I could choose one thing to augment our kids within our program prior to graduation, it would be to compete in all aspects of life. As a kid, you are convinced that you can do anything you want to do when you grow up. While it is fine to not place limitations on ambitions. Most are conditioned through trial and error.  Life experiences provide a necessary perspective that it takes a little more than a dollar and a dream (big J. Cole fan, sorry).  Competition molds men and women with lessons that can teach us to accomplish anything.

Next Generation of Coaches

Take from the best.

Learn from the rest.

Be balanced in life and occupation.

Live to lead a legacy inspiring those that follow you.

Infamous last words prior to going out for any game during my collegiate career:

“Let’s be good today.”


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